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ALEXANDER  VON  HUMBOLBT.                  25
Alexander sold Ms estate to the poet Franz von
Klelstj and confided the caro of Ins property to Kunth
who also became manager of William's estates.
And now the long talked of plan of a journey to
Italy together wa« to bo realised. Exit a new delay
took place ; the intended stay of a few days grew to
weeks—a relapse of fever of William's wife detained
them all in Dresden. Those premature delays in the
long considered great plarjus induced Schiller to write
to Goethe on tlie 23rd July: " That will be a fine
journey! They must now already stay above their
time in Dresden !" But their long stay was agreeably
passed in the society of Korner, of the Prussian am-
uaBMador, Count Gassier, and the great pMlologian
But greater and more unpleasant delays were to
detain them.
Alexander went with his brother and family to
Vienna, but here already their intended stay of a few
day» wan involuntarily lengthened, because they had
to await the issiio of the impending waiiike demon-
strations between Austria and Bonaparte, and these
wore still delayed. Here they made the acquaintance
of u Wonfcphalian family, Von Haften, and Alexander
found iix Horr von Haften a former friend, who, like
him, interested himself for geology. Besides, they
found tho young naturalist Fischer, afterwards Bius-
Bi an ooimcillor, and while Alexander bore the suspense
eonBoquQut on the warlike events more/cheerfully in
Bcioiitilic studies of nature, his brother William passed
tho time in tho imperial library with the young philo-
logian Ba&fc.
jBut public affairs had now taken such a turn that
a journey to Italy was no longer possible. For
although the Ftouch had been almost driven out ^of
the* Koutli of Germany in tho former year by the vic-
tories of the Archduke Charles, yet Bonaparte's bold
and victorious tactics had BOW gained other and mor$
important advantages, for by his domination of the
Adriatic provinces,, am by other victories in